'Our diversity is our strength'
One of the many things members recall fondly about Wolfson is its diverse and friendly community. The neighbour down the corridor, that person met over lunch in the dining hall, the student tending the Club Room bar – they came to Wolfson from all over the world, bringing different perspectives and life experiences. Our diversity is our strength – as a College we seek to ensure the best students from any background and discipline can come to Cambridge and to Wolfson and excel.
This issue of Ring True explores the many ways we are keeping Wolfson open and welcoming to the world.
Gender taking focus
During March, Cambridge celebrated Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day with a range of initiatives and events.
The Wolfson Gender Hub and WCSA Women’s Reps hosted the second annual International Women's Day Conference, which explored the theme of #ChooseToChallenge in which participants were asked to reflect on how we can work to challenge inequalities in our daily lives at both micro and macro levels. The Hub is looking to increase its membership and contributions from the Wolfson community. If you are passionate about promoting gender equality and creating change please register your interest.
University of Cambridge Vice-Chancellor Professor Stephen Troope was in conversation with Dr Nicola Rollock to discuss race, gender and identity at the University of Cambridge. It was so refreshing to know diversity and inclusion is at the heart of the University’s priorities. Don’t miss your next chance to hear Dr Rollock speak at Wolfson’s annual Lee Lecture on 5 May.
On 31 March, Wolfson celebrated Trans Visibility Day by launching the WCSA Gender Expression Fund. This fund is dedicated to reimburse students who purchase items to make them more comfortable with their gender presentation. It is one of the initiatives of the WCSA Welfare Team with the agreement of Wolfson College, to make Wolfson a more inclusive and diverse place, in this case by institutionally supporting trans and gender non-conforming students, as well as anybody who might find this fund useful. Read more about the amazing initiative here.
Making learning accessible
While students are at Wolfson, we hope to offer everyone an equal playing field. The College offers the WolfWorks programme, which provides academic skills training for all students. There are also new discipline-specific inductions for incoming students - these sessions help students get up-to-speed with all the tools they need to succeed.
Wolfson's new Librarian Laura Jeffrey continues to improve our study spaces, making them conducive for all kinds of learners. She has recently purchased laptop stands, lumbar supports and a writing slope to help reduce neck and back strain. These have been very popular with students and are sometimes in short supply! The Library hopes to acquire two special electronically-operated height-adjustable desks (£717 each) - these would be ideal for wheelchair users and anyone for whom a traditional, fixed desk is uncomfortable. We are also looking into getting keyboard wrist supports (£15 each) to improve student comfort.
Bringing the world to Wolfson
Student fees and living costs are a major barrier for prospective students wherever they come from. We disburse almost £1 million in scholarships and bursaries every year to enable the best students to come to Wolfson, and to support them whilst they are here. Our ambition is to offer as many full awards as possible – with these, students won’t have to apply for separate smaller grants, providing them financial peace of mind for the duration of their studies.
THANK YOU! So far, you've raised almost £15,000 towards student support in March! Your generosity means we can offer new awards to support incoming students including targeted groups who are historically underrepresented at Cambridge. Last year, the College also provided, for the first time, a new bursary for women in STEM disciplines. You can contribute to our Student Support Fund through our Annual Giving campaign. If you would like to give towards a specific cause, please get in touch with our Development Director, Sian Cook.
After working for more than two decades, I was not the most academically confident student when I decided to return to Cambridge to pursue a PhD in Sociology.
However, as a mature student in Wolfson College, I felt supported by everyone; the college president, the alumni director, my college tutor, my college PhD mentor and fellow students in Wolfson.
I am truly grateful that the College has given careful consideration in designing support structures to ensure that mature students like me do not feel separated and distanced.
Dee Chia (MPhil Education 2008)
Other news and events
We are looking to compile a gallery of photographs, stories and notes. By submitting your photos and anecdotes, newspaper clippings or leaflets, you’ll be able to share your memories with other alumni and enjoy discovering others. Not only will you have somewhere special to reflect upon your time at Wolfson College, but this could also be your opportunity to reconnect with old classmates and find out what they’re up to now. If it is special to you, then it is special to us and other alumni too!
Our new Head Porter
Wolfson said farewell to Head Porter Mike Wignall, who is leaving us after ten years in the role. His shoes will be filled by Andrew Fowles, who will be familiar to many of us - Andrew joined the College as Porter in 2013, and became Senior Porter in 2017.
Dates for your calendar
Oxford Vs Cambridge Boat Race – 4 April (please watch from home on the BBC) watch out for more news about sport as restrictions lift
Wolfson Research Event – 28 April – 4 May (Online Event)
Lee Lecture with Dr Nicola Rollock – 5 May (Online event)
Foundation Day – 30 June (Online event)
Keep in touch
You can also sign up for This Week at Wolfson to get notifications about College events, every Monday during term.
Alumni can reconnect with old classmates through Wolfson Connect.
Shopping through Amazon?
Use AmazonSmile and Amazon will donate 0.5% of your purchase to Wolfson. Login to your amazon.co.uk account using this link to nominate Wolfson as your chosen charity, and make all your future purchases through smile.amazon.co.uk (same products, same prices, same service). Purchases must be made through AmazonSmile and not the main site to qualify. For more information about the AmazonSmile programme, see the AmazonSmile Q&As.